Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is in the Middle East seeking support for his idea of a new oil-backed currency to challenge the US dollar.
Chavez says he plans to outline his proposed "petro-currency" during a summit of leaders from South American and the Arab League in Qatar. Chavez has long criticized the dominance of the dollar and plans Tuesday to seek Arab backing for a new currency backed by the resources of major oil producing countries, such as Venezuela and other OPEC members.
Chavez is scheduled to travel to Iran and China after the summit.
The gathering in Qatar is expected to concentrate on trade between the two regions. Arab nations also want to counter efforts by rival Iran to build closer ties in Latin America.